Monday was a real emotional rollercoster. I found out the agency I work for (away from the farm) is laying everyone off for the month of August due to the fact that as the Pennsylvania state government can't pass the budget, so our agency won't receive the grant money they use to pay us. While I feel for the families who depend on our services and the employees who rely soley on that paycheck, I am kind of excited to have a whole summer month to be on the farm. Dan and I had just been discussing plans for reopening the farm stand, so for me, the timing couldn't be better. But knowing I still had to spread the bad news to the employee I supervise the next day, I started evening chores with a lot on my mind. The animals always seem to have a way of taking your thoughts back to the present though, and this day was no exception. I heard the sound of newborn goats as I was tending to the chickens and found both Lolly, a Boer, and Callie, a Boer/Pygmy cross, had kidded. In the same spot. The babies were all mixed up. But Dan and I got everyone down to the nursery barn, both mothers and all 4 babies. We determined that Callie again had a single baby and that Lolly had triplets! However, Callie was feeling so maternal she wanted to take care of all 4 babies, even the little triplet who wasn't looking so good. Sometimes when there are 3, one is weak and won't make it. This appeared to be the case- the poor little guy wouldn't stand and appeared he might die before we even left the barn. So we put him in with Callie and her little girl, figuring if she had an interest in him, he might have a little better chance of making it. But as he was on death's door, we didn't think it mattered very much anyway, so that was pretty sad. But chores needed to be finished, and the suprises were not over. I found a litter of 5 healthy baby rabbits! And as we were finishing up the chicken chores, Dan asked me "Why do I hear peeping?"...a little bantam had been sitting on a nest and hatched a little bantam chick, who was making all that noise!
After dinner, Dan checked on the goats again, and I expected to hear that the little guy had died. But when Dan checked on them, he was standing on his own, nursing. I'm happy to report that as of last night he seemed to be healthy and doing well, although I always hold my breath and usually don't name them for the first week or so. They always seem so frail! But the 3 born on Thursday are doing splendidly. Mama's little girl is the picture of heath and quite possibly the cutest thing ever born. Mocha has settled into motherhood as well, and her twins are also healthy and active. We're even getting a fair amount of milk from Mama, so it looks like one less thing I'll have to worry about buying while I'm laid off, which is always good.
We are looking to open the farm stand, located roadside at the farm, on Saturdays for the remainder of the summer. We are hoping to open July 25, but are in the process of rearranging some other commitments. I will be posting dates and times on our website, www.pleasantvalleyfarm.weebly.com, as soon as the details are finalized.